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Aircraft Mechanic, Aviation Maintenance Technicians, Aviation Maintenance Schools

Aviation Maintenance Technicians: Job Outlook

Job opportunities for aircraft mechanics should be excellent for individuals who have completed an Aviation Maintenance Technician program at an FAA-approved school. Employment of aircraft mechanics is expected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2012. This is primarily based on a large number of aircraft mechanics expected to retire over the next decade and create several thousand job openings per year. In addition, others will leave to work in related fields, such as automobile repair, as much of their skills are transferable to other maintenance and repair occupations. Also contributing to favorable future job opportunities for mechanics is the long-term trend towards fewer students entering technical schools to learn skilled maintenance and repair trades. Avionics technicians are projected to increase at a slower than average rate.

As the economy improves, a growing population should increase passenger traffic and create the need for more aircraft mechanics over the next decade. If the number of graduates from aviation maintenance technician programs continues to fall short of employer needs, opportunities for graduates of mechanic training programs should be excellent.

Many of the students who have the ability and aptitude to work on planes are choosing to go to college, work in computer-related fields, or go into other repair and maintenance occupations with better working conditions. If the trend continues, the supply of trained aircraft mechanics will not be able to keep up with air transportation industry needs when growth resumes in the industry.

Job opportunities for aircraft mechanics are expected to vary among various employers. Opportunities are likely to be best at the smaller commuter and regional airlines, at FAA repair stations, and in general aviation. Commuter and regional airlines are the fastest growing segment of the air transportation industry, but wages in these companies tend to be lower than those in the major airlines, so they attract fewer job applicants. Also, general aviation aircraft are becoming increasingly sophisticated, boosting the demand for qualified mechanics. Mechanics will face more competition for jobs with large airlines because the high wages and travel benefits that these jobs offer generally attract more qualified applicants than there are openings. Job prospects will be best for applicants who have experience. Mechanics who keep abreast of technological advances in electronics, composite materials, and other areas will be in greatest demand.

Aviation Employers hiring Aviation Maintenance Technicians

Most airlines and general aviation firms require an A&P certificate from the FAA. Aircraft mechanics held about 154,000 jobs in 2002; about 1 in 6 of these workers was an avionics technician. Nearly 40 percent of aircraft mechanics worked for air transportation companies and close to 20 percent worked for private maintenance and repair facilities. About 20 percent worked for the Federal Government, and about 13 percent worked for aerospace products and parts manufacturing firms. The remaining percentage of mechanics worked for companies that operate their own planes to transport executives and cargo; and few mechanics and technicians were self-employed.

Most airline mechanics work at major airports near large cities. Civilian mechanics employed by the U.S. Armed Forces work at military installations. Large proportions of mechanics who work for aerospace manufacturing firms are located in California or in Washington State. Others work for the FAA, many at the facilities in Oklahoma City, Atlantic City, Wichita, or Washington, DC. Mechanics for independent repair shops work at airports in every part of the country.

With an FAA Airframe & Powerplant Certificate, you'll be eligible to work for a variety of employers such as:
• Airlines (Major, National, Regional, and Scheduled Airlines)
• Repair stations
• Helicopter operators
• Military aviation
• Government agencies (i.e. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA))
• Corporate and Charter operators
• Aircraft manufacturers, service and maintenance companies
• Cargo companies
• Flight Schools
• Transportation Companies (Railroad,
• Large businesses with their own fleets of planes

Typical Hiring Requirements for Aircraft Mechanics and Aviation Maintenance Technicians:

• Have a high school diploma or GED
• A & P certificate
• Have work experience
• Have mechanical aptitude
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How to become an Aircraft Mechanic or Aviation Maintenance Technician

Sources by: Federal Aviation Administration, US Occupational Handbook, and U.S. Department of Defense.



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